Rift between doctors and pharmacists widens over push for inquiry

Greens health spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale proposed the inquiry last year following a controversial deal between Blackmores and the guild to include prompts for complementary medicines in dispensing software.

Senators are now set to vote on 28 February whether to support the motion, which AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said he hoped would lead to more input into future community pharmacy agreements by doctors, consumers and pharmacists.

He said the current process in which the agreement was negotiated in confidence between the guild and the government was characterised by “secret handshakes and backroom deals”.

“The way the deal is arranged in backrooms is a bit old world, a bit cloak and dagger,” he said.

“The AMA is not part of it, the public is not part of it, the pharmacy profession is not involved [but] this is how PBS funding is spent.”

A guild spokesperson said the